Q: What were your impressions of how the game went for the defense yesterday?
A: I think we did a good job of going out there and adjusting well. I think we gave up too many big plays and that’s what we tried to eliminate from opposing team’s offense. I think we have to do a better job of that, but all the guys were out there with a great attitude to get better from the week before. I think we did a great job of trying to correct some of those mistakes, but we still have a long way to go.
Q: Have you been surprised with how much you’ve been targeted?
A: No. This is football. There’s two sides of the field. I don’t think nobody is going to go out there and try to do anything different. I think they’re going to run their offense and that’s how we’ve been playing since I’ve been here. We live for the challenge that’s being a cornerback. I like them. I think we did a better job of putting our hands on the receivers yesterday to get the quarterback and some of the timing off between them and I just think if we eliminate the big plays we’ll be O.K. moving forward.
Q: What contributed to some of the big plays you guys gave up yesterday?
A: A couple of different things. Personally, we’re known for putting my hands on receivers and trying to change up the timing between them at the line of scrimmage and I don’t think we did a great job of getting our hands on some of the time yesterday. I think if we can be cognizant of where the playmakers are and put our hands on them and just not let them run free of the line of scrimmage, that eliminates a lot of that problem that we did in giving up the big plays.
Q: Can you talk about the importance of avoiding going 0-2 this time around?
A: We try to win every game that we set out to play on Sundays. I understand that the other team is good and we respect our opponent, but it was very important for us to come back and just try to do what we normally are used to doing and that’s getting out early in the game, being creative by causing turnovers and getting our offense back the ball because we have a really good offense and we wanted to let them put points on the board. I don’t think we have been doing that. I think we finished up the season last year by doing that and we were looking forward to rebuilding and keep moving forward from there, but we didn’t do so well the first two games and I think we did a better job of that this game and hopefully we can keep on continuing to get better as the season gets longer.
Q: Can you talk about the team’s confidence level in Eli when you guys do fall behind?
A: I think everybody feels the same way. Everybody is kind of steely-eyed, focused. We don’t have a long-term memory. We kind of use the short-term memory. Call it …. Forget it and drive on because you can’t control what happened in the past already. We’re only moving forward trying to help our team get better and I think Eli is a big example of that with what happens in the earlier part of the game. You don’t want to let that be the result of the game, so you can always turn it around given another opportunity. I think we made the best of those opportunities. Eli is a prime example of that and that’s the resilience the team is showing over the last couple of games.
Q: Did you feel that pressure to bounce back a little bit, especially with the secondary being so banged up?
A: No. I just want to go out there and play my game regardless. I never want to give up a catch. I’m the hardest critic of myself, so I don’t need added pressure from anybody else. I think they have done a good job of doing their job as well. I definitely want to go out there and contribute and do what I’m supposed to do to help my team to be the best that it can be.
Q: What type of challenges does the short week pose?
A: We’re not going to get in a lot of preparation that we normally get, meaning the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of practice that we normally get in. It’s going to be a cut down week, but I think both teams are going through the same situation, so I think that kind of equals it out. We have to go to the drawing board and just practice hard and get all of the stuff that we can get in. Get a lot of mental reps in – film work, being very technique sound, going back and watching what we did against them in previous games meaning when we played against them last year, the last four or five preseason games along with the two games they just played and hopefully that could help us out and we can get the W in the short week.
Q: How difficult is the disjointed schedule on players?
A: I think it does, but it’s on both teams. It’s just the natural sport of the game where everybody is sore. It’s a physical game and everybody goes out there and tries to give it their all, so I think that turnaround is very quick. The body is going to be a little sore, but I think the players enjoy playing the game that they love and everybody will be up for the challenge on Thursday.
Q: How do the short passes affect you guys in the secondary?
A: I think when teams are doing that, we need to have a very aggressive approach by putting our hands on the receivers and I think we, in a couple plays in the game, played a lot of like a softer coverage, but I think in this last game that we played against Tampa Bay, we did a good job of putting our hands on them and I think that changed the timing between those quick routes between the quarterback and the receivers.
Q: How impressive is Eli throwing for over 500 yards?
A: I think he’s just steadily getting better and better every game and I think he’s an elite quarterback hands down and I think he goes out there every day in practice to try to critique his craft just as well as he motivates a lot of people to do the same. When you’ve got a guy out there doing it in practice, kind of the reward of watching him doing it is the game time and big ups to him. He’s a great quarterback. He’s one of the best in the business, if not the best, and he continues to get better and better every game, every practice.
Q: Has it been a challenge with a lot of lineup changes in the secondary with guys coming in and out with injuries?
A: We normally just go about how we prepare and get ready for the games. I think we teach everybody, I know a lot of people do that around the league, but we teach everybody to prepare as a starter because you never know in this league. Any given play, any given second anything can happen, so you always want to be ready when your number is called and you hate to see somebody go down, but it’s an opportunity for another guy to step up and make the best of their opportunity and I think a lot of our guys here have been doing that. They’ve been cognizant about it and we’ve been moving forward. We hate to make excuses. It is what it is. We all want to be great. We all go out there and work hard together. I think our guys did a great job of just blocking it out. Everybody is preparing like a starter and when our number is called, we want to go out there and make the best of it.
Q: Are there things in practice that you can encourage to play more aggressively?
A: No. I think the only thing about practice is called repetition. We have to see those things and you have to get them. You have to be called that way and we can go out there and try to translate it.
Q: What have you learned about the officiating through two games? Does that change your approach at all?
A: It’s not what we’re used to, but there’s no excuses made. It’s just not what we’re used to. Those other guys do a good job, the guys that we regularly have, so it’s a little different. People are getting away with a little more stuff. Some people complain about the DBs get to have their hands on a little longer and others complained about the receivers pushing off, but we made no excuses. We try to get closer to the ball, closer to receiver and try to make plays on it and hopefully we get this thing figured, so we get our officials back.
Q: Are you finding that you have a little more leeway with being physical with the receivers like you want to be?
A: I haven’t tried it. I only use what we’re taught to use and that’s we get our hands on the receiver within the first five yards of the down and try to dictate or change some of the timing. We’re not going back for seconds. We try to do everything in the legal way of things, so we don’t have to break any bad habits once we get our officials back.
Q: Could you take us through your interception yesterday?
A: Just trying to be close in coverage. Stick to my receiver and I saw he was wanting to throw the ball my side, so as the game went along, I think we got more and more aggressive with the receivers and I don’t think any receivers like that. I was able to stick close in coverage. It looked like he looked for another guy down the field and I was able to undercut his route.
Q: Do you think that kind of helped shift the momentum towards you guys?
A: I know it started it. I think it woke everybody up on defense. I think it woke the fans up. I think they got into it when he [Phillips] came down and made that hit on the receiver. Everybody, all 11 woke up. We congratulated him and I think that starts the turnaround of our game yesterday.
Q: Can you talk about Boley and what he brings to your defense?
A: Sometimes he plays different positions, so that’s one attribute that carries with him well. He can line up at will linebacker, middle linebacker. He knows the defense, so he can dictate and call it out, make the checks and also he’s a playmaker. He’s skilled enough to be able to cover some of the tight ends, cover the running backs and he’s also is big enough to get in there and plug up some of the holes, so he brings a lot to the table and he’s been doing a great job for us.
Q: Did you kind of change your approach late in the game?
A: I like to do what’s working for us. If it’s up to me, I would always line up and try to test out the receivers and battle them, putting hands on them, but it’s not my call. We kind of just go in the scheme of things and try to put it together as we were being taught and how the game is being called.
Q: Did you speak to Perry during the game and say this is working for us?
A: I did not. I think he was just cognizant of it. He saw what was going on. I think he saw the receivers… No receiver wants to be touched off the line scrimmage. Anybody can be a great receiver if you let them run free off the line of scrimmage, so I just think we saw that going on and we just kept putting the pressure on.
Q: Does the secondary have to be more aware of the ball coming in?
A: I played a little receiver early on, so I always want to turn into the receiver once the ball is out of the quarterback’s hands. I think the ball is just as much mine as it is the receiver, so I think that helps us out to get turnovers and create turnovers when you do that and when you play that way, so he’s right. You always want to see the ball come out the quarterback’s hand and try to locate it, so you can go get the ball at the highest point.